New Year's Resolutions 2024 | EQness

New Year’s Resolutions 2024

Science-Backed Strategies for Lasting Change

A notebook opened to a page titled 'New Year's Resolutions 2024', symbolizing the planning and commitment to personal goals and aspirations for the upcoming year.
What are your resolutions for the new year?

Here we are again! It’s that time of year when we all start jotting down our New Year’s resolutions. You know, those promises we make to ourselves about all the things we plan to change?

But let’s be honest, we start full of energy and good intentions, but unfortunately, often these resolutions do not stick. This year, let’s mix our intentions and resolutions up with some science-backed strategies that might just make the difference.

Rethinking New Year’s Resolutions

1. Small Habits, Big Impact

Think small to achieve big. Instead of aiming to run a marathon by February, how about starting with a 10-minute jog every day? It’s these small changes that can surprisingly lead to significant results.

Behavioral science backs this up – small, consistent tweaks to your daily routine are more likely to stick.

2. Find Your Real ‘Why’

Ever ask yourself why you’re setting a particular goal? For instance, if your resolution is to learn a new language, ask yourself if it’s because you love the culture or simply because it sounds cool.

Goals tied to your personal values have a better chance of surviving past January.

3. The Role of Social Support

Share your goals with friends or family. It’s not just about accountability; it’s about having a support squad for those days when motivation is on vacation.

Social psychology tells us that a little encouragement from our circle can go a long way.

4. Be Like Water – Flexible

If Plan A isn’t working, don’t be shy to switch to Plan B. Life is unpredictable, and sometimes our best-laid plans need a few tweaks.

Being flexible with your goals can actually bring you closer to achieving them.

5. Track Mindfully

Keep an eye on your progress, but don’t obsess over it. Whether through a journal, an app, or quiet reflection time, tracking your experience helps you stay on course and make necessary adjustments.

Did You Know?

Neuroplasticity and Habits 

Every time you work on a new habit, you’re rewiring your brain. Neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections, particularly in response to learning or experience, plays a key role in building and changing our habits.

Practice, practice, practice, and you’ll change both your brain and your life.

Habit Formation, “The famous 21/90 rule”

While this rule may serve as a motivational guideline, the science of habit formation reveals a more complex picture. It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a new habit to stick, according to Phillippa Lally’s study. So, patience is key in habit formation.

A pattern of behavior that has been nurtured for years will not be modified in a week. Therefore, it makes sense to give yourself some grace if you’re not seeing instant changes.

Consistency Beats Perfection

Missed a day of your new routine? No problem! According to the same study by Lally and colleagues, it’s the overall consistency that counts, not the occasional slip. Keep at it, and you’ll reach your goal.

Habits Have a Ceiling

Interestingly, habits form in an asymptotic curve – they become more automatic over time but eventually plateau.

This means there’s a natural limit to how ‘automatic’ a habit can become, and it varies for each person.

A colorful array of sticky notes on a wall, each bearing a different resolution like 'lose weight', 'laugh more', 'go to the gym', 'read more', 'find new friends', and 'set goals', representing diverse aspirations for personal improvement in the new year.
Yes, does this look familiar?

So, as we gear up for 2024, let’s approach our resolutions with a fresh perspective. It’s about making small, meaningful changes that align with who we are and what we truly want.

Start now, asking yourself:

What’s one small step you can take today toward your goal?

 

Do you want to know more? 

Chen, S. A., & Goodwill, A. M. (2022). Neuroplasticity and Adult Learning. In Third International Handbook of Lifelong Learning(pp. 1-19). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C.H.M., Potts, H.W.W. and Wardle, J. (2010), How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 40: 998-1009.

 

Ready to make changes and Need a Helping Hand?

Changing old patterns isn’t always easy, if you’re looking for personalized support using evidence-based strategies to help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions,

I’m here to help.

Reach out to me and together let’s make 2024 your year of transformation!

Happy New Y…!

olga-lucia-gamboa

Olga-Lucía from EQness

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